As the body ages, physical, psychological, and cognitive abilities become more susceptible to decline and deterioration. This decline can cause a great deal of stress and discomfort for those experiencing it and their loved ones. This is especially true when it comes to issues surrounding memory. Memory is an integral function of the human mind. It allows individuals to maintain bonds with friends and family, reminds them of special dates and appointments, and provides guidance when facing danger or hardship. But, just as the body declines with old age, so does the mind and memory.
When senior adults experience issues with memory, the risk of accidents and injuries can increase dramatically. This is due to how memory affects thinking, reasoning, and social abilities. That is why it is always important to be aware of the early signs of dementia, what to do when they present themselves, and the different forms of memory care available.
Physical Symptoms of Dementia
The physical symptoms of dementia can vary depending on a patient’s age, cognitive health history, and other preexisting issues affecting the brain and body. Dementia is not a single disease; instead, it is a term used to describe the effects of multiple conditions working in tandem to affect memory, reasoning, and social ability. The symptoms of dementia are typically separated into two categories: cognition and psychology. The cognitive symptoms of dementia are:
- Memory loss
- Issues in thinking and reasoning
- Decline in spacial awareness
- Decline in problem-solving
- Decline in fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Difficulties with planning and organizing
- Becoming easily lost in a familiar setting
- General confusion and disorientation
The psychological symptoms of dementia are:
- Changes in personality
- Inability to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior
It is important to note that a senior adult with memory issues is not guaranteed to have dementia. Many other conditions, factors, and ailments can cause memory issues, which is why a professional diagnosis should always be sought before any extreme measures are taken.
Early Signs of Dementia in Women
Many factors affect how the brain ages over time. There are environmental factors such as social environment and sleep disturbances. Even air pollution can create changes in the brain. Another factor that affects how the brain ages is gender. The jury is still out on whether men or women are more likely to develop dementia, as past and current studies have been largely inconclusive. However, because women typically live longer than men, and since the most significant risk factor causing dementia is age, women are, therefore, more at risk of getting dementia.
Early Signs of Dementia in Men
The early signs of dementia will present themselves in much of the same way in men as they would appear in women. It is not yet known who is more at risk of the disease when looking at senior men and women of the same age. However, there are factors that both men and women can change to decrease the risk of getting dementia.
- Air pollution
- High blood pressure or cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol use
- Head trauma
- Vitamin deficiencies
In essence, one of the best ways to decrease the risk of getting dementia is to be mindful and cautious about one’s health as they age.
There are typically seven stages of dementia depending on the presence and effect of other ailments affecting the mind.
- In stage one, senior adults show no cognitive decline.
- Stage two consists of age-associated memory impairment with very mild symptoms.
- Stage three is where mild cognitive impairment begins to show itself. During stage three, senior adults may become easily lost, demonstrate a decline in work and social performance, and have difficulty concentrating.
- Stage four consists of mild dementia and sees the symptoms of stage three increase in frequency and intensity.
- Stage five, known as moderate dementia, symptoms increase to the point where senior adults will require assistance as they progress through their daily routines.
- Stage six is known as moderately severe dementia. Those with stage six dementia are more likely to experience delusional or obsessive behavior in addition to anxiety and agitation.
- At stage seven, seniors will experience severe dementia and may begin to lose control of motor skills and the ability to speak.
Receive Quality Dementia Care at Buckner Calder Woods
Watching a loved one go through the stages of dementia can be an incredibly emotional experience, leaving many struggling to find an appropriate course of action. When considering dementia care for seniors, consider visiting Buckner Calder Woods for a tour. We offer a wide variety of dementia care services in a state-of-the-art facility and pride ourselves on creating a vibrant and uplifting community for all our residents. For more information on dementia care or to schedule an appointment today, contact us at 409.407.7636 or reach out online.